Monday, November 22, 2010

Two tales

I don't normally read historical fiction, but that was what I've been reading lately. Back to back too. The Ohter Bolelyn Girl was given to me by a friend clearing his shelves. He didn't want it any more and I never turn down a free read. I bought Wolf Hall months ago and still hadn't gotten round to reading because of its daunting two-inch thickness. I bought it solely on the review in The Economist, and it only helped that it went on to win the Booker Prize. One of those it'll be good reading books ... if only you got round to it.

And that was why I accepted the novella. I thought it would set me in the mood for the bigger book. Same historical era, same cast, just a different approach. It's more casual, more contemporary, and written in a breezy style. It took me just about three days to get through it.

The other one took me three weeks. But then that was also because I only read it at home, at bed time. At two-inch thick, it's not the sort of book you can slip into your bag to take with you to read on the train to work. It's beautifully written, with a masterly turn of phrase. So yes, it was good reading ... once I got round to it. Not to diss the other book, but it's quite obvious which one won the Booker Prize.

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